Program Reporting Requirements: Colorado

General Teacher Preparation Policy

Goal

The state's approval process for teacher preparation programs should hold programs accountable for the quality of the teachers they produce. This goal was reorganized in 2021.

Meets in part
Suggested Citation:
National Council on Teacher Quality. (2021). Program Reporting Requirements: Colorado results. State Teacher Policy Database. [Data set].
Retrieved from: https://www.nctq.org/yearbook/state/CO-Program-Reporting-Requirements-89

Analysis of Colorado's policies

Minimum Standards of Performance: Colorado does not set minimum standards of performance for the data that programs must report.

Program Accountability: Although Colorado does not set minimum standards of performance, the state reviews programs and determines whether programs are approved, placed on conditional approval or probation, or are terminated. However, the standards on which accountability outcomes are based are not necessarily performance-based criteria with clearly stated minimum thresholds.

State Report Cards: Colorado publishes data on its Educator Preparation Program Report Dashboard. These data include institutional-level data on demographics and data on enrollment, completion, new teacher employment and the context of employment for new teachers, new teacher performance and retention, and licensure pass rates of program completers.

Program Approval Process: Colorado maintains full authority over teacher preparation program approval.


Citation

Recommendations for Colorado

Establish the minimum standards of performance for each category of data.
Colorado should establish precise minimum standards for teacher preparation program performance for each category of data it collects to help clarify expectations regarding program quality.

Ensure program accountability decisions are based on minimum standards of performance.
While Colorado has the structure of a program accountability system, including follow-up actions for programs failing to meet standards, it has not set minimum standards it can use to implement this accountability process. As Colorado further develops its accountability system, it should ensure that the system is sufficient to differentiate performance among programs, including alternate route programs, and that it is clear at what point a program's approval will be revoked. For programs exceeding minimum standards, Colorado should consider finding effective ways to disseminate best practices.

State response to our analysis

Colorado was helpful in providing NCTQ with facts necessary for this analysis. Colorado indicated that the department approves the content for all traditional EPPs and approves all aspects of the program for alternative EPPs. Alignment to the Teacher Quality Standards, content area standards and English language learner standards is strictly monitored. Each program is held accountable for content coverage through the authorization/reauthorization process, which is contingent on adequate coverage of each of these standards. The state statute and State Board of Education rules regulate all preparation program content and are the basis for the Department of Education's state reauthorization process. Colorado also provided the statute regarding the Department of Education's oversight of EPP content and programming which documents the content standards

Additionally, Colorado indicated that the Department of Higher Education also has policies as outlined by the Colorado Commission of Higher Education. That information has not been detailed by our review here because we assume this same review was sent to the Colorado Department of Higher Education to provide feedback on their statutory and policy implications in this section.

Updated: March 2021

How we graded

1D: Program Reporting Requirements 

  • Minimum Standards: The state should establish a minimum standard of performance for each category of data that is collected.
  • Articulated Consequences for Failure to Meet Minimum Standards: The state should have articulated consequences for programs failing to meet minimum standards of performance or other program review criteria and should require specific steps to develop a remediation plan. Program accountability should include the possibility of the loss of program approval.
  • Annual Reporting: The state should publish an annual report card that provides data collected for each individual teacher preparation program as part of the program approval process or the report card provides data that indicates the quality of preparation provided by an institution or program (e.g. licensure pass rates, teaching effectiveness of program graduates, employer satisfaction survey data).
  • Approval Authority: The state should retain full authority over its process approving teacher preparation programs and should not grant any approval authority to accrediting bodies.
Minimum Standards
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if minimum standards of performance are set for each category of data the teacher preparation programs are required to report.

Articulated Consequences for Failure to Meet Minimum Standards

One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it holds teacher preparation programs accountable, and clearly articulates the consequences for failing to meet the minimum standards, which may include loss of program approval.

Annual Reporting
One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it publishes data collected as part of the state's program approval process of individual teacher preparation programs on an annual basis or, the state will earn one-quarter of a point if it publishes data that indicates the quality of preparation provided by an institution or program (e.g. licensure pass rates, teaching effectiveness of program graduates, employer satisfaction survey data) on an annual basis.

Approval Authority

One-quarter of the total goal score is earned based on the following:

  • One-quarter credit: The state will earn one-quarter of a point if it retains full authority over the process for approving teacher preparation programs.

Research rationale

The state should examine a number of factors when measuring the performance of and approving teacher preparation programs.[1] Although the quality of both the subject-matter preparation and professional sequence is crucial, there are also additional measures that can provide the state and the public with meaningful, readily understandable indicators of how well programs are doing when it comes to preparing teachers to be successful in the classroom.[2]

States have made great strides in building data systems with the capacity to provide evidence of teacher performance.[3] These same data systems can be used to link teacher effectiveness to the teacher preparation programs from which they came. States should make such data, as well as other objective measures that go beyond licensure test pass rates, central components of their teacher preparation program approval processes, and they should establish precise standards for performance that are more useful for accountability purposes.[4]

National accrediting bodies, such as CAEP, are raising the bar, but are no substitute for states' own policy. A number of states now have somewhat more rigorous academic standards for admission by virtue of requiring that programs meet CAEP's accreditation standards. However, whether CAEP will uniformly uphold its standards (especially as they have already backtracked on the GPA requirement) and deny accreditation to programs that fall short of these admission requirements remains to be seen.[5] Clear state policy would eliminate this uncertainty and send an unequivocal message to programs about the state's expectations.[6]


[1] For general information about teacher preparation program approval see Rotherham, A. J., & Mead, S. (2004). Back to the future: The history and politics of state teacher licensure and certification. In F. Hess, A. J. Rotherham, & K. Walsh (Eds.), A qualified teacher in every classroom (11-47). Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. Retrieved from https://www.nctq.org/nctq/research/1109818629821.pdf
[2] For additional discussion and research of how teacher education programs can add value to their teachers, see National Council on Teacher Quality. (2017). Teacher Prep Review. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/teacherPrep/2016/home.do
[3] Walsh, K., & Jacobs, S. (2007). Alternative certification isn't alternative. Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved from
http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED498382.pdf

[4] For additional research on the status of teacher quality and the strengths and weaknesses of accreditation programs and policies in the U.S., see: U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education. (2010). The secretary's seventh annual report on teacher quality: A highly qualified teacher in every classroom. Retrieved from https://www2.ed.gov/about/reports/annual/teachprep/t2r7.pdf
[5] For a discussion of the lack of evidence that national accreditation status enhances teacher preparation programs' effectiveness, see: Ballou, D., & Podgursky, M. (1999, July). Teacher training and licensure: A layman's guide. Marci Kanstoroom and Chester E. Finn., Jr. (eds.), In Better teachers, better schools (pp. 45-47). Washington, DC: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.edexcellence.net/sites/default/files/publication/pdfs/btrtchrs_10.pdf; Greenberg, J., & Walsh, K. (2008, June). No common denominator: The preparation of elementary teachers in mathematics by America's education schools. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/No_Common_Denominator_NCTQ_Report; Walsh, K., Glaser, D., & Wilcox, D. (2006, May). What education schools aren't teaching about reading and what elementary teachers aren't learning. Washington, DC: National Council on Teacher Quality. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/What_Ed_Schools_Arent_Teaching_About_Reading_NCTQ_Report
[6] See Walsh, K., Joseph, N., & Lewis, A. (2016, November). Within our grasp: Achieving higher admissions standards in teacher prep. 2016 State Teacher Policy Yearbook Report Series. Retrieved from http://www.nctq.org/dmsView/Admissions_Yearbook_Report